Top 4 Startime Moments

Top 4 Startime Moments

Number 1:

Frankie Paul – Mas Camp, January 9, 2016

Frankie loved doing Startime, because it exposed him to a special audience he did perform to regularly. Well he had a leg amputation a few months before, and this particular performance he started on stage in a wheel chair. At the time Frankie was having heath challenges but he still wanted to perform, and that he did. His voice was crystal clear and as strong as ever. One particular segment of his performance, he got up out of the chair, and holding on to MC Tommy Cowan, they held church at Startime and I believe everyone in the audience was singing.

Number 2:

Alton Ellis – Mas Camp (Oxford Rd.) – May 2004 (Also everytime Alton appeared)

There is an Alton Ellis medley that I used to ensure that Alton performed whenever he appeared at Startime … I’m Still In Love With You / Breaking Up / I’m Just A GuyThere was something magical about it, and Alton would sing those three songs with so much passion. You could literally hear the audience gasp and whole venue would be swaying when Lloyd Parks broke from I’m Still In Love, then when they hear the horns intro to Breaking Up, massive cheers would ring the venue … and the electricity would go up several notches …. with Alton it happened every time, and I would just wait for it.

Number 3:

Gregory Isaacs – Peppers – June or July 1995 or 1996

Gregory Isaacs was away from Jamaica for about 5 years and I was fortunate to be the first to book him for his return show at Startime, and every showgoer wanted to see Gregory. Peppers was full to the brim and Gregory’s performance was phenomenal, but there were two songs that had the place in a state of calamity … when he closed his first set with Night Nurse. It was the first time the audience was hearing Gregory sing this song live in a long time, and Lloyd Parks & We the People had to wheel and come again at least 4 times because the noise inside Peppers was deafening. Well if you think that was anything, Gregory had three genuine encores the night and Peppers was in a frenzy. After he left the stage the audience wouldn’t allow the show to continue as they kept chanting Gregory ! Gregory !! More Gregory !!! I had to chase Gregory (in his red BMW) up Waterloo Road and beg him to return. When he returned to the stage, it was time for Hard Drugs …. the opening lines ….

You still want more … De more dem get it … ah de more dem want it …

The band had to wheel another 4 times, and one would not believe what was taking place inside Peppers. I never knew decent, professional, hard-working Jamaican citizens could behave so bad or so great !!!. That Startime moment had to be experienced to be believed.

Number 4:

Joseph ‘Culture’ Hill – Countryside Club July 1997 or 1998

It was Emancipation weekend and Joseph Hill and Culture’s first Startime appearance.

Words can’t describe the electricity and magnificence of the occasion. Culture had not performed in Jamaica for many years, and I think the massive audience didn’t know what to expect.

Well Joseph Hill and Culture were astounding !! Hit after hit after hit, and with every song the audience’s response got louder and louder. The group’s African attire, Joseph’s admonishing voice and the occasion suited each other perfectly. It was just an other-worldly performance; but the crowning moment came when George Nooks who was booked quietly as a surprise, rushed on stage for the “Forty Leg” section of the song “Zion Gate”. George was also making his first appearance on a Jamaican stage in years, and the combination was mind-blowing, and the audience went ballistic !!. A really unforgettable Startime moment !!